Middle East News
Yemen amends draft law granting immunity to Saleh and his aides
Jan 19, 2012, 21:46 GMT
Cairo - A Yemeni draft law granting immunity to outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh over the killing of protesters during the country's crisis was amended Thursday to limit protection his aides would enjoy, Arab Media reported.
Representatives of the country's political parties agreed to give Saleh full immunity and shield his aides only in 'political cases,' the Doha-based Al Jazeera said.
The earlier law offered immunity to anyone who had worked with Saleh. Protesters have been demanding that Saleh faces justice rather than be given immunity from his corruption and crimes.
Saleh, his security forces as well as armed loyalists, have been blamed for killing hundreds of people during the 11-month uprising that gripped Yemen since February.
Yemeni activists lashed out at the amendment and the law will be rejected in the streets.
Al Jazeera said this draft law will witness a crucial debate during a parliament session next Saturday.
Saleh signed a Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC)-brokered deal in Saudi Arabia in November, during which he agreed he would give up power and then step down entirely in return for immunity for him, his relatives, and his aides.
Human Rights group Amnesty International has urged the Yemeni parliament to reject any draft law granting Saleh and his aides immunity from prosecution.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay earlier this month warned that immunity could violate international law.